Is it safe for me to drive in Central America?
I have recently been confronted with the above dilemma and you may well be too.
Let me share with you what I experienced when I mustered up my nerve and got behind the wheel of a car in Nicaragua.
Chaos like you cannot anticipate meets you as you pull out onto the road. All of your senses come to full attention, adrenalin rushes in. I don’t remember this being on my driver’s test – ever!!
Be prepared for a myriad of massive trucks, barreling buses, taxis, horse carts, tuc-tucs, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians all vying for the same narrow ribbon of concrete that is misnamed a highway. To me there is no rhyme or reason, but somehow it all seems to have a flow.
The road way itself is littered with the pesky pot holes and heavily camouflaged speed bumps. Don’t be looking for signage or directional arrows for guidance as they are most often forgotten or misplaced. Sometimes what you think is actually a road headed back to town will instantly morph into a goat trail or alley into someone’s yard.
Oh and that one way that I headed down in the wrong direction? The locals were generally amused and forgiving.
I have yet to mention the living moving obstacles which will include; dogs, chickens, horses, cows, lots of cows, and the old guy pushing an ice cream cart.
Little kids laugh and play unsupervised along the sides of the road and the buses load and unload at will.
The other day I found myself in the driver’s seat staring down a very large bull that had little interest in giving way to little old me. In good time he and his buddies shuffled along down the road.
Of course this is what you see in the light of day; don’t even consider venturing out after night fall, lighting is optional.
So did I answer the question?
Not really but maybe you get the picture.
the joyful travellers